lipogrammatism (lipəˌgramə ti-zəm)

Lipogrammatism is a style of writing in which a letter or group of letters is excluded from a literary work.

Happy October! Recently, my English class received an unusual writing assignment from our teacher. Our assignment was to write a detailed description of our faces. This seemed easy enough, but there was a catch. We could not use the letter “s”.  I thought this was going to be an impossible task. How was I supposed to describe my ears, lips, earrings, eyes, or glasses without the letter “s”?!

This style of writing in which a certain letter or group of letters is excluded is called lipogrammatism. Lipogrammatism contains the Greek roots *lipo- meaning lacking or without and –gram meaning something written. The Greek word “gramma” means letter. The word lipogrammatism literally means “lacking a letter.”

For me, this was a challenging assignment. My teacher said that the result was likely to be “odd” and indeed it was. Below is an excerpt of my lipogram:

I have thick, refulgent, long black hair. I have a wide grin with mainly permanent teeth. Each dark chocolate colored ocular organ is framed by long curved blepharal hair.  I detect fragrance or odor with a narrow bridge in the center of my face. Upon the bridge, I wear a purple hued myopia correction device. I have a dimple in my cheek. I wear a tiny, gold hoop earring in each earlobe.

Have any of you written a lipogram before? If so, I would love to read it! Please post a link or paste it onto a comment. For those of you who have never written a lipogram, I challenge you to do this assignment and post it below in the comments.

*The Greek root –lipo also means fat